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Highfield Boats - PBW - LEADERBOARD

The light switch

by John Curnow, Global Editor, Powerboat-World.com 10 Jul 2020 00:00 PDT
Maritimo M55 Flybridge © Maritimo

Essentially, in the last four to six weeks, many dealers have reported good to phenomenal brokerage sales. It seems to be right across the board. Maritimo's Gold Coast dealer, BMS at Sanctuary Cove, is even running a boutique boat show this weekend featuring an impressive AUD20M in new craft. The reason is the upsurge in interest that the current crisis has afforded boating specifically because of its open air, family oriented and somewhat escapist nature.

Across the Pacific, and Maritimo's Americas' President, Dave Northrop is reporting better than strong enquiry and activity, with inventory, or the lack thereof, now the critical element. "The market for both new and pre-owned boats in the region has experienced a resurgence in activity, as we all see sales and enquiry beginning to eclipse pre-COVID-19 levels", said the widely known and respected industry veteran.

"Considering the environment where the major boat shows are cancelled - we are experiencing sales levels that are extremely positive. Talking to my colleagues who are experiencing the same high levels of sales we are all in agreement on what is driving the increase in interest. Lock-downs and restrictions have lead the group of people who have not had a boat before to start looking at boating as a safe and enjoyable way to spend time with their families."

"Equally, those already with a boat have been spending more time on their vessels, and have started to look to upgrade to something bigger or newer. Add in that international travel is off the agenda for the foreseeable future, and boating becomes the logical solution to feeling confined in one's home."

Cancellations of boat shows means Maritimo's company employed team in the Americas were adopting marketing strategies which saw them showcasing boats with smaller VIP events, and showings for targeted customers around various cities and ports. "Our promotional mantra has been - 'Don't worry about boat shows being cancelled, we will bring the boats to you", said Northrop.

"The Maritimo range has broad appeal in our region, with the climate controlled flybridge models being particularly popular. Maritimo has always had a strong following in the Americas, and our brand recognition increases year on year. Buyers recognise the exceptional seakeeping capability and long range of our vessels, and when married up with the design quality and superior build, we offer a unique package compared to the competition", Northrop closed by saying.

Moving even further East and over the Pond, Maritimo continue to expand with Barcelona resident, Eric Zobel, becoming the focal point for European sales. No stranger to working with Maritimo's founder, Bill Barry-Cotter, having known him for over 20 years. No doubt Zobel's knowledge of that market and the Maritimo range will help them continue to expand.

We're not the only ones saying it

US powerhouse, Lyman-Morse, said of their two new brokers up in the North East, 'The timing could not be better as the brokerage market is red hot. There is nothing like stepping abroad your own boat when you want to feel free and create your own getaway.' With a team now numbering five souls across three locations they do seem well placed to serve buyers and sellers alike.

Pretty boats

Was it the Clipper bow, the all-white paint, subtle elegance, or more traditional deck layout from Roman architecture firm, Studio Vafiadis that did it for me? Was it nostalgia, for with squinting eyes she kind of took me back to the late Jon Bannenberg's, M.Y. Stefaren? It was probably all of that, but it was as distinct a moment when I first saw the pics, and then immediately typed into the then blank page that has now become this missive, 'Rossinavi 52m'.

Don't get me wrong, for in the same week, the same yard released imagery of the 50m M.Y EIV being launched, which had awesome throwback/futuristic lines reminiscent of Nemo's Nautilus in the movie that was, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (of which the car and the sub were the best parts).

Oldie, but certainly a goodie. Tennessee II is an original Bertram 31, built in the USA in April of 1963. She was imported into Australia that year by Bob and Dolly Dyer, and fished out of the Sydney Game Fishing Club, in Watsons Bay. On her arrival, the new high performance Deep-Vee hull was described as, 'like a space-ship', by one of the local fisherman.

Later she was renamed Overdraft, and fished Pittwater and Port Stephens for many years. Her refit in the 1990s saw her receive a new interior, and fibreglass front saloon windows, and then 'renamed' simply Tennessee. In 2007 new, six-cylinder, Yanmar 315hp Diesels were installed to provide the original speed of 32 knots.

Now only used for occasionally fishing, she serves mainly as a family boat, and is admired everywhere, of course. She is an excellent example of the legendary Ray Hunt design that changed power boating forever. It is believed that she is actually now for sale, so if she sounds like your next boat, then drop us a line and we'll see if we can connect you...

I'll take that segue, thank you!

Having attended the recent e-launch of the new MJM 3z, I later asked Peter Truslow what it was like to bring Bertram back, and especially create the 35 in homage to the original 31. "Restarting Bertram was a dream come true. I have always been a Bertram fanatic. I love the boats, the styling, the history and the lifestyle. I am a Bertram owner. I am so proud of the work the team did to resurrect the brand. Our initial slogan, 'Inspired by Tradition. Driven by excellence', was true. The 35, the 61, and the 50 were true to the great Bertram designs. They are the best Bertrams ever made. We had an incredible production team in Tampa, the perfect designer for the project in Mike Peters, and used the best technologies and equipment", said Truslow, now CEO of MJM.

Expanding things back to the here and now, and two trends (well they've been around a bit now, so perhaps they're best called themes) continue to grow enormously - outboards and day boats. The 3z fits right into that, with the option for a 4z, and even 5z to play into the Divergence 45, and then perhaps the HCB area.

How do you see MJMs later arrival into this space, seeing as say Sabre built Back Cove some time back to provide for a wider offering? "MJM is uniquely positioned to succeed in the large outboard/dayboat business. From Day One the company has been focused on performance and practicality. No cruising boats are as fast and efficient as an MJM."

"Our boats have a Downeast heritage, but our design and construction methods are unique to us, and modern in every way. Our 43' and 53' outboard models are proof that we are great with outboards. The Zurn design team did an excellent job with balance, performance and integrating the engines with the boat. Our new 3z simply takes the best of our outboard designs and deck layouts."

Given all of that, MJM's fearsome reputation will fit beautifully into your new space, but how well do you think you are known when it comes to say the Texas coast or the like? "The 3z is already taking us into new markets. We are best known in the northeast, but the interest in this boat is coming from the bigger dayboat markets in the southeast and Gulf States. We are also seeing more interest from owners of boats like Boston Whaler, or Grady White, who are looking for something special", said Truslow in closing.

OK. Today you will find that the site has an abundance of material from right across the globe, and if you cannot find something, just try the search button right up the top of the landing page, above our logo.

So as you see, there are stories, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do savour... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. If you want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

Remember too, if you want to see what is happening in the other parts of the group, go to the top of the Powerboat-World home page and the drag down menu on the right, select the site you want to see and, voila, it's all there for you.

Speak with you again, very, very soon.

John Curnow
Global Editor, Powerboat-World.com

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